Latest news
Oct. 27, 2022

RNAO’s ongoing media profile: The October 2022 report

Media profile

This month, RNAO spoke to the media about its #DecriminalizeNow campaign and support for the launch of the Ontario Climate Emergency Campaign (OCEC). RNAO also commented on the Ontario government’s plan to provide funding for more nurse practitioners (NP) in long-term care (LTC), as well as the ongoing registered nurse (RN) shortage.

Preliminary data from Public Health Ontario reports that 2,880 people died from an opioid-related overdose in 2021. At the beginning of October, RNAO launched its #DecriminalizeNow campaign. Through this campaign, RNAO and its members asked mayoral candidates in cities across the province to support decriminalizing simple drug possession ahead of the Oct. 24 municipal elections to prevent more overdose-related deaths. In a media release (Oct. 4), RNAO CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun said that “substance use is a public health matter, not a criminal problem.” RNAO President Dr. Claudette Holloway told (Oct. 4) “nurses have been sounding the alarm on this preventable health crisis and offering evidence-based substance use policy… yet we have continued to see the number of deaths, hospitalizations and emergency visits soar.” On AM800 (Oct. 4), Grinspun noted that “hiding the crisis doesn’t help anyone – people suffer in silence.” Grinspun also told (Oct. 12) that “supervised drug-consumption sites, an expansion of safer supply programs and decriminalization are all key to minimizing the risk of overdose and addressing community issues.”

On Oct. 19, the Ontario Climate Emergency Campaign, a non-partisan coalition of nearly 250 groups, including RNAO, called on Ontarians to vote for climate action in the municipal elections by voting for pro-environmental candidates. Holloway represented RNAO at the coalition’s media conference held at Queen’s Park. In a media release, Grinspun said “the climate crisis is the single greatest health crisis of our time.” She told Blackburn News (Oct. 19) that the decisions made by multiple representatives on land use will “significantly impact the extent of the climate crisis, and therefore your health, and that of your family, friends and other loved ones in the coming decades.”

The Ontario government announced in August that it will invest $57.6 million over the next three years to retain and recruit up to 225 additional NPs in the LTC sector. This was reaffirmed in a media release shared on Oct. 5, as well as a site visit by Minister of LTC Paul Calandra in Etobicoke on the same day, at which Grinspun spoke. RNAO welcomes this commitment said Grinspun, telling ZoomerRadio “this announcement ensures residents get safe, quality and timely care in their homes” (Oct. 5).

RNAO continues to speak out about the ongoing nursing crisis and its effect on the province’s health system. Holloway told (Oct. 2) that Bill 124 is leading nurses to consider agency work rather than staying in full-time positions. “Nurses feel they need to take control of when and where they want to work… The longer Bill 124 remains, the longer nurses are going to fill their need for fair wages.” RNAO reaffirms its call to the provincial government to immediately #RepealBill124. If you haven’t already, please sign and share RNAO’s Action Alert.

RNAO’s media outreach this month resulted in 148 media hits. As always, RNAO will continue to speak out alongside its members, as well as all Ontarians. For more media coverage, visit RNAO in the News.